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Second Cup says it may convert Ontario coffee shops to cannabis stores

Last Updated Aug 15, 2018 at 4:40 pm PDT

The Second Cup Ltd. says it is actively reviewing locations in Ontario for potential conversion to cannabis retail stores in light of policy changes in the province. A general view of the 'slow bar' at a redesigned Second Cup Coffee outlet in Toronto on Thursday, December 4, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

OTTAWA – The Second Cup Ltd. says it is actively reviewing locations in Ontario for potential conversion to cannabis retail stores in light of policy changes in the province.

The company’s announcement comes after Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government said it would allow private retailers to sell recreational marijuana starting next April.

Second Cup had announced a partnership with marijuana clinic operator National Access Cannabis in April to potentially convert coffee shops to retail stores under the brand Meta Cannabis Supply Co.

At the time, the companies said they were focused on Western Canada, as Ontario had planned to sell cannabis through provincial liquor commissions, in line with policies in Quebec and several Atlantic provinces.

Second Cup and National Access Cannabis say any conversions of coffee shops to cannabis shops is conditional on securing a retail license from provincial regulators, and approval from franchisees and landlords.

The coffee shop company says it has more than 130 locations across Ontario that it plans to leverage to enter the cannabis space. National Access Cannabis says it has a target of opening 50 to 70 cannabis retail stores in Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia this year.

Companies in this story: (TSX:META, TSX:SCU)